Tuesday, August 23, 2016

God of the Small Spaces


It is a Tuesday afternoon and in an hour or so, I will be heading home to rest for a few hours before the grind starts up yet again. Life has passed by swiftly in the past three months, the biggest of which is getting married to the love of my life and starting a new job that I have longed prayed for.

Most people (often the ones outside of the "bubble") would refer to this time as a "glorious" time. I used to watch women get engaged and land their dream jobs and I would often feel a pinch of envy for them because their lives were finally falling into place.

But in reality, there is really no such thing. Life is life, no matter what season you are in. Of course, you strive to be thankful for the answered prayers, but there are days when it is hard to do because you're pressured, you're busy, and you're just irritated. 

But He is the God of my small spaces and I long to meet Him no matter how small of a space it is.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What are you surviving?

It happens to the best of us. We often get consumed by the mess of our own lives without realizing that there is a much bigger world out there with problems we can't even imagine. This is not minimizing the pain our own troubles has caused us because nobody can tell us how to feel or how "small" or "big" the results of it are.

However, we can be reminded that while we may feel isolated in our problems, we are not the only ones having them. Often, the person you work with, the kuya guard who opens the door for you, and even the wildly successful rich girl all have problems and the best we can do is to be kind to ourselves and others because we are all surviving together.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Opportunities


Opportunities.

It has been said that to be at the right time at exactly the right time with the right people requires a different kind of favor, that of which that comes from God. Ever since I started working, I have always prayed to God to open the right doors for me and close the wrong ones simply because making a choice always left me scared.

So my life's choices have been quite simple: walk into the open doors simply because the wrong doors are closed shut. This has also been true in other parts of my life. I've always had blind faith that God will provide the right people and the right opportunities at the right time.

However, closed doors are not always accepted with a kind and gracious heart. In the past week alone, I have had two opportunities shut in front of my face without warning. They were already projects that were raring to go, projects that I have waited for my entire life, and just when they were going to jump start, they went kaput.

It left me tossing and turning over the weekend. How could these opportunities slip from my fingers? Was it something I did? Is there something else that I could have done better?

But in all my asking, I stopped for a minute and tried to figure out what it was that God was telling me. It has been a season of blessings and challenges, just pretty much like any season of life. And as in anything, the blessings don't negate the challenges but in all times, we must learn to rest and let God take over.

I may never have an answer as to why the opportunities were taken out of my hands but I still firmly believe that God has the perfect timing for all things. I grieve for the lost opportunities but I am also thankful for moments I have to myself, something much needed right now.

So for today, I weep and let it go. And then tomorrow, I pray for new opportunities to come my way.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

7:34 PM




As I write this, Gwen Stefani's Cool plays repeatedly in my ears and for the first time in a long time, there is a sense of calm and quiet as I clank away on my computer unaffected by the many worries of life.

To say that it has been a busy couple of months would be an understatement. In the past year alone, I have traveled to more than three cities (not that big of a deal for today's millenials but a pretty rad deal for a twenty something with a 9-5), had my first relationship, had my heart broken, lost friends, regained them, switched jobs, fell in love with the one who was meant to be my first, got engaged, got married, paid off debts, and most importantly, discovered myself, my faith in a way I wouldn't have if all of those things didn't happen.

My life prior to August 2015 was uneventful. I was known to stick within the lines delicately refusing to do anything beyond what was expected of me. It led me to the life I've always wanted (or so I thought) but I lacked depth on the inside. I was a Stepford wife minus the wife title and I was drowning without me knowing.

I was lost and confused but the best part was that I didn't know that I was. I thought I knew what I was doing but I didn't. 

You've heard the story and here I am, a year later with quite a different life from what I imagined. People used to tell me that life doesn't quite turn out the way that we planned it and I always refused to believe them until I look at my life today.

My life at 28 is radically different from what I expected it to be. And while there are days where I question it, I have learned not to. God, as often reminded by my brother, doesn't give us what we think we want but blesses us with what is necessary.

I still don't know where life would lead next but through all of it I have come to realize that no matter what life throws our way, we ultimately have the power to overcome all things and in realizing this, we get to enjoy life outside of our box and move forward in faith knowing that our courage is enough.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sino ang good girl?

 For the longest time, I have always prided myself in being the good girl.

As a competitive child, I made sure to always finish my seatwork on time, keep quiet when the teacher isn’t looking, and keep my desk neat at all times. I was the perennial “yes” girl and for years that was a label that I quietly hid behind. My story of being a people pleaser is no longer news to patient readers of this blog, however, the revelation to me has taken quite a journey before it fully sunk in.

In a way, I’ve always kept quite a scorecard of my life. The good things happened when I was good (keeping my heart “pure”, keeping Bible studies in check, and making sure I was “nice” to everyone I met) and the bad things can be negated by doing good things. Yes, I believed in God but I never quite threw away the need to “do good” in order to “deserve good”. Despite preaching on grace for so long, I was holding on to a lie: life would only be majestic if I learned to keep it together.

The journey to the unraveling of this truth began in the summer of 2015, most of the journey you can find here, however, the culmination of its lesson (or lessons rather) is one that I am still learning to this day. For the longest time, I thought being “good” and relying on the promises that were taught to me from the day I was young would give me the excellent, fairytale life I have always  wanted.

It wasn’t until several incidents in the past year jolted me out of a fake reality that I created for myself. I found myself on the floor so many times, sobbing, and wondering what I did wrong. Up until recently, I couldn’t understand why life was being ridiculously unfair to someone who did everything “right”. 

Of course, during this point, I was speaking from a place of pride – of course from the outside, it seemed like I was perfect because I was doing everything right, but we all know that to God, the outside didn’t matter, all that mattered was what was on the inside – what was lurking in the deepest recesses of my heart.

My heart, as I have discovered (and continue to do so on this day), is a dark, murky place. Recent events have showed me just how deceitful, conniving, and manipulative my heart really is. God revealed to me just how much evil is in my heart and while I was surprised, I was also humbled, humbled enough to learn the lessons God has been teaching me all these years.

The past year has brought me to my knees so many times and in the pit, I found myself, for the first time in my life, ashamed and broken. There were no accolades to hold me up, no good deeds to negate the bad, and most importantly, no face to show God. Just like Adam and Eve, I was hiding in the shadows but for the first time in my life, I never felt God as closely as I did in the past couple of weeks.

As my heart broke and my real self was exposed, I found myself closer to Jesus, my savior. It wasn’t a magical moment but it was one that was real in a sense that I felt the truth of His love for me. God’s unconditional love is real because as I sat in the depths of my mistakes, God pulled me closer instead of further and in it, I heal.

As I discovered the true state of my heart, I have realized the true beauty of the grace of God. Growing up a church girl has made me forget the beauty of grace because I thought I was doing everything perfectly without realizing that my legalistic nature has made me unforgiving, hard, and unloving. I was doing good works but in the back of my head, I was judging everyone who did not fit neatly into the package of perfection that I have aimed for my entire life.

Today, I find myself more relaxed and less stiff. For years, I was projecting an image but today, I can look at myself in the mirror and smile genuinely because through the cracks of my brokenness, I can see God’s grace shine and in Him, I find the kind of confidence I never quite felt before and now, the journey begins again.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pause

Contrary to what most people think I am actually an introvert. 

While my job requires me countless hours to be with people, my actual disposition is that of a hermit who relishes in quiet time. 

For years, time away from people was spent in a quiet cocoon typing away furiously as I shared my deepest thoughts in this very blog. 

Life, however, took a radical turn in the past two months but as Pastor Steven said, "don't tell your story so soon" so it took awhile for me to digest, ingest, and process the new season of my life. 

To say that 2016 is a year of transition is an understatement. In the past two months, I have moved out of a job I thought I loved, married the man of my dreams, and moved from being an extremely single lady into a very much married woman. 

There are many things to discuss and talk about but it requires a lot of dedication and focus so allow me to relish for awhile and I'll be back with stories I waited a lifetime to share.


Saturday, May 07, 2016

Love, Future Me




Life is defined by the seasons we are in.

The transition in between seasons barely come with warning signs. Pretty much just like the weather, changes come silently, you just wake up one day and you see that your winter has quietly blossomed into spring. 

That's how I feel today. At the brink of what could possibly be the biggest change of my life, I am left stunned at how swiftly life has changed. Less than a year ago, I was left heartbroken in the middle of SM Aura and now here I am, barely recalling what has transpired. 

So much has happened since then and I shake my head at how anxious I have been. More heartbreaking changes came after that which included work, friends, and even a break from my older self. 

Today, I barely recognize who I used to be, but in a good way. This is how I know that those changes were for the good and without them, I wouldn't be where I am today. 

As I enter into a new season, I decided to pen a letter to my former self as a reminder that truly life works out if you simply allow yourself to fall apart first. 

This is the secret of life and one we should master.

Dear Almost 27 Year Old Self, 

I recall how anxious you are and how displaced you feel about life. I understand how you feel lost and have the strong desire to feel accepted by your peers. You're scared and you're afraid that if you unravel the real you, life would fall apart. 

Well guess what? It does fall apart. 

The jock ditches you for the beauty queen, your so- called friends betray you, and you find yourself realizing that the job you once loved isn't where you want to be anymore. You question yourself, you try harder, and then eventually, you simply let it go and fall apart. You let go of all that you have been told and for the first time ever, you learn to trust yourself with your own decisions. You begin to become accountable for your mistakes and accept the things you could never be  along with the people who belittle you for not being who they want you to be. 

You eventually fall in love with someone unexpected: it shatters you, it tears you apart but that brokenness will be the foundation of a better you who will eventually experience the love story you've always wanted. Because of that love, you understand what real love is supposed to be like. 

You lose friends. You lose the "likers". You spend a season alone but this season teaches you the beauty and strength of celebrating your own company. You 
finally learn how to not only 
love yourself but also learn to be kind to you.  This is what enables you to be kind to others. 

You fail at your job for the first time ever, you don't get the promotion, and it feels like you're back to zero. However, this is the season that you become brave enough to begin again. With humility in place, you're braver to try new things and take on challenges. The "nothing to lose, nothing to prove" mentality has done you good and now you're more open to learning more. In understanding that you don't know everything, you open yourself 
up to countless learning opportunities. 

You do find the love of your life but the process of meeting him and falling in lov with him was rather unconventional. This is where humility comes into play once again because you finally understand what people meant when they said that God truly has His ways. 

In this difficult season, you learn to be brave, something you've never been. You've never been more challenged but you've never been that strong either. 

What used to matter no longer does and now your heart is free-- the process may have been different but you have finally reached a point where all that matters is what God says and you learn to live out how to trust Him in all things. 

The journey continues from here on but believe me when I say that you have made me proud. You have been bruised, battered, and torn apart and yet here you are stronger and more optimistic than ever. 

Don't let life overcome you, your spirit is stronger than any negativity that comes your way. 

Till our next adventures, 

Your almost 28 year old self.